Sunday, May 17, 2009

Installing a New Potbox

As with many EV projects, much time is spent waiting for parts. The replacement Soneil chargers haven't shown up yet. On a more positive note, Synkromotive figured out some of the glitches in their new beta controller, so one should be available this coming Friday. This new system will require a different potbox, contactor and other wiring.

I'm excited to install the controller, so I installed a new potbox to get ready.

Here is a view on the driver side in the engine compartment just above the engine mount. I'm going to use the two holes in the engine mount bracket to mount the potbox.

Here's the PB-5 potbox that I purchased from Bob Bath with an aluminum bracket bolted to it. I was fortunate enough to keep this around in my pile of parts because it fits very well.

Did you notice the shiny silver thing attached to the arm of the potbox above? I had difficulty trying to figure out how to attach the acclerator cable to the arm of the potbox. The guy at the hardware store suggested that I use one of these tiny cable clamps. The "U" bolts fit perfectly in the holes on the arm and I can clamp the cable down tightly.

Here's the potbox mounted in place. Notice how it's tilted slightly to the left and not in parallel with the E-meter DC-DC converter in the black box to the right. This is because the accelerator cable interferes with the top of the shock tower if the potbox is mounted inline with the car. This leftward tilt moves the cable just inside the shock tower so it hangs better.

Not only did I have to attach the acclerator cable to the potbox arm, but I needed to mount the housing on th end of the accelerator cable in something so the cable could pull against something. To accomplish this, I took a spare piece of 3/4" angle iron and drilled a 5/16" hole in one end, near the edge. I then cut out the hole with a hacksaw to get this keyhole-like shape. This will allow the cable housing to slide in at its narrow point but not pull out when I slide it forward so that the wider threads sit in this 5/16" hole. I also drilled a 3/16 hole in the other angle iron face to mount this tiny piece with an 8-32 by 1/2" bolt.

Here's a piece of flat bar that will hold the cable housing. The two holes on the left are the same distance apart as the two posts on the potbox. The hole on the right end is where I'll mount the tiny piece above so the cable has something to push against.

After sawing off the tiny piece from the end of the 3/4" angle iron, I mounted it to the flat bar with an 8-32 x 1/2" bolt and nylock nut to keep it from falling off. This will rotate a bit and allow the cable some play as the potbox arm swings back and forth.

Here's the above bar mounted to the potbox with 8-32 x 1/2 button-head bolts with lockwashers.

Here's the same picture above, but with the cable mounted in it. The trick is to get the bracket on the right in the correct place so that you can use the two adjusting nuts to properly tension the cable so it gives maximum throw and stops at the zero point on the potbox.

Stay tuned for Friday when, hopefully, the controller arrives.

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